You Don’t Have Bipolar Disorder

“I don’t think you have bipolar disorder.” Dr. S. told me.

“But I had all the symptoms for years.” I said feeling confused.

Most of your symptoms were reactions from years of damage caused from Klonopin use.” Dr. S. my new psychiatrist explained.

“But, I had a full-blown manic episode after I went off all my medications years ago.”

“That was caused from going off Klonopin cold turkey. Klonopin withdrawals are quite dangerous and severe.” Dr. S. added.

“Then what do I have?’ I asked him.

“You have Borderline Personality Disorder.”

“Ugh. I always thought that was like an insult to my personality.” I replied.

“I can give you information about that at your next visit.” he answered. And you do have PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder, as well.”

Ugh. I thought to myself. I have been given the personality disorder diagnosis before but not as my primary diagnosis. This is a lot to take in. It took me years to accept that I have bipolar disorder and now I have to accept this diagnosis and let this all sink in.

Years of being given medications to treat bipolar disorder that I do not have? It kind of makes sense but then at the same time it doesn’t. Maybe that was why I was medication resistant to bipolar medications. They were giving me medications to treat an illness I didn’t have? Maybe. Who knows.

This is what I know to be true. I had anxiety and PTSD symptoms since I was a young child. After I gave birth to my first child I became completely undone. Immediately after they pulled my Kylie out of my womb, there was almost a moment in time that something clicked inside myself and every emotion that separates us from the animals and makes us loving human beings vanished into thin air. I had no feelings or emotions. Everything that made me who I was had left. I was gone. Who was I? What was going on? I felt detached from myself and my body. I was never the same again after that moment.

They initially gave me Prozac to treat my postpartum depression which I know for a fact that I had and possibly also postpartum PTSD  from a traumatic pregnancy and delivery. Prozac was not helping but made me worse by causing increased anxiety and manic-like symptoms.

When I was referred to a psychiatrist for the first time he diagnosed me with bipolar disorder and prescribed Paxil and Klonopin. Then the psychotropic medication cocktail  hell began and the rest is an ugly and scary history. .

My medications were prescribed to me like I was playing Russian roulette. I was given new medications before the severe and painful side effects from the other medications were out of my system.

I was over medicated for years and was then basically told to go live my life. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t live my life? I was given enough medications to kill a horse. How am I supposed to live my life? I couldn’t and didn’t. The cycle was vicious and did not work.

I was always too sensitive to psychotropic medications. I was medication resistant. It took over two decades before the this horrific “eeny-meeny-miney-moe” medication game concluded. I was also given over one-hundred ECTs to save my life. I was fighting to live so I did whatever they suggested to try to survive. Meanwhile damages to my brain, body and life took a toll on everyone and everything around me.

My new psychiatrist recently told me I must be very resilient to survive and overcome the many things I did. He has also told me more than once that I was lucky to have survived going off Klonopin cold turkey twice in my life. Blessed is the key word. I am very blessed to be alive and to be doing as well as I am.

The biggest thing that helped me and changed my life was God. I became born again and gave my life to God. I always believed in God, but it wasn’t until I surrendered my life completely to God that my life improved and changed the most.

I pray often and live my life for Jesus. I stay away from the past and try to surround myself with positive people and things. I have today and tomorrow to serve the Lord and that is what I try to do. I try to live my life for Jesus and do what Jesus would do. This was not a straight, smooth and one-stop road but is a winding, twisting path.

For many years, but especially the last five years, I have had many people pray for me and lay their hands on me and pray for healing. I fully believe in the power of prayer.

My new p-doc says I do not have bipolar disorder. However, I believe I have had bipolar disorder. I had too many signs and symptoms of it for years. Maybe he cannot diagnose me with bipolar disorder now because I do not have it right now—not anymore. Maybe I have been healed of it. When there are no explanations for something I believe it is God.

When there are no other explanations, it must be God. No matter if it was a misdiagnosis, healing or if my brain has transformed and improved over the years for the better, the main point of focus is that I AM BETTER.

I have not taken psychotropic medications for over five months and I am doing very well. In fact, I feel better than I have in over 25 years. At this stage in my life after over 25 years of living with severe mental illness, I have little to NO ANXIETY. There are no psychotropic medications hindering my brain from performing the way it is supposed to. It is beyond beautiful. I have more clarity and can focus on the beauty of life. I am free from a mental fog and haze. There is no cloudy film covering my view of the beauty of the world and my life. My thoughts are my own. THIS IS ME.

Please remember, this is my journey. I needed medications for a while and even though they were difficult for me to take I know they helped me somehow. But after 25 years being medication free is working best for me now.

I want to be a source of inspiration for all of you. I want to be the example and inspiration that there is HOPE. Your journey may take you down the path to becoming medication free or not. Either way your mental illness CAN AND WILL GET BETTER. I am living proof of that. Keep fighting. You will make it.

Copyright ©2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights Reserved

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27 Comments

  1. This was a mind-blowing post, Sue. It was my understanding that once you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, that’s it… You have it. It just doesn’t go bye-bye, that it’s because of the formula of the medications that have worked for you, keep your symptoms at bay.
    This is week three of being off Kolonipin, and it has been rough adjusting. I’ve been more irritable, my sleep cycle is all over the place again, and my anxiety is creeping up a little more with each day. I have just been resting and letting it ride. Listening to my body and obeying my bodies wants and needs. It hasn’t helped that I have gained additional stress factors in my life, but I thought I would be feeling better by this point.
    Thank you, for sharing your story. God Bless you, Sweetie! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know this is mind blowing to me too. This is not what I learned either. Honestly none of it makes sense. All I know is that I have no symptoms right now. I really don’t. I also am aware of hypomania and euphoria and I am not on that spectrum either. I don’t think I am being overly positive or anything on the other end of bipolar either. None of it makes “mental illness sense.” Really. I never thought this could happen but it is so I had to write about my truths and my present reality. I am not doing this alone. I have a P-doc that is observing me etc. He has offered a sleep aid but I haven’t taken it. He also offered an antidepressant that sacred me too much to take. So I did not take it and am happy I didn’t because I feel great. I was leary of writing this post because I have a blog called My Loud bipolar whispers and write about bipolar and now a pdoc says I don’t have bipolar .Also, I never wrote that the pdocs from Rocherster Mayo also put on my discharge papers borderline personality as my diagnosis and not bipoar diosrder. I do not get it either. I didn’t write about that after my overdose etc because I ignored because I figured they were wrong and didn’t know my case well enough. But now two pdocs have said it. Hmmm…. I am not sure. I had too many symptoms that have been spot on for years… but have no symptoms right now. Time will tell. That is all I can say. Today I am symptom free and so want to use my brain. I know what peace feels like. I pray one day you will too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Beckie dear. I believe for certain that when you are fully free of Klonopin and over the withdrawal symptoms and effects from Klonopin that you will feel so much better. It was the beginning for me and I pray it will happen for you, as well. I believe you will have more peace and clarity after Klonopin is out of your system. Much love and many blessings to you. Hugs, Sue

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I am so very happy you are off Klonpin. Please be patient. It took over two months for my withdrawal effects to dissipate. It was so worth every ounce of pain and discomfort. You can do it dear. I will pray for you. I can write more about this with you if you want to. My oldest daughter just came over to visit right now. Hugs my dear. You are awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember the posts that you had written a while back on the withdrawals from this horrible medication. I never forgot it. It actually was a reminder to me of what I was going to face. Thank you. Enjoy the visit with your daughter. Have a wonderful evening! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Beckie. I had a very nice visit with my daughter and then had to go to work from 10 pm until 6:00 a.m. Yikes. I got another new job and am getting trained on all shifts but will mostly work from 2-10 p.m. I keep searching for new jobs until I find the right fit. I think this will be it… at least for a while. Hugs, Sue

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened to a podcast yesterday that talked about the difference between mental health diagnoses and other diagnoses. With mental health, there is rarely something physical to pinpoint as the culprit. Diagnosing a mental illness is even more of an art and a roomful of mental health professionals could all interpret your symptoms through different lenses. The podcast talked about a diagnosis as more of a label, or shorthand that can be used to discuss presenting problems without the need for full historical disclosure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this feedback KD. I found this to be very important and valuable information for me. I agree with you about this. There are no x-rays or blood tests to help diagnose or tell if a medication is working or when it is time to discontinue a medication etc. It is a guessing game. I am not upset about this but feel some relief whether he is right or not. It is just a part of the mental illness life. Honestly, I am not sure if I am convinced my new doctor is correct anyway and it really doesn’t matter anyway. I lived with my bipolar diagnosis and researched it always and my symptoms fit everything I read and was very similar to others that have a bipolar diagnosis. I believe my new pdoc is diagnosing me from who I a now and the symptoms I have now. I am very well right now. He can’t diagnose me with bipolar right now as I do not have bipolar symptoms. I only look at this as a label and nothing else. The label does not effect how I feel or who I am. It cannot change my past. This is what I know and how I feel today. It means little but I do feel some relief from his words. It lessens my load. One thing it did was ease my mind a little from fearing my children being diagnosed with it and getting it from me. It could still happen either way but I don’t have to worry about that so much. I am thankful for my new p-docs insights and positive words of encouragement. Much love and hugs, Sue

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      1. I find that it really does depend on the lens they’re seeing their clients through. I saw a DBT specialist and she was pretty certain I should have a BPD diagnosis. My psychiatrist and the psychologist both diagnosed me with MDD, GAD, and C-PTSD. My group therapist seems to be leaning towards C-PTSD and DID. It really is so much about their training and client experience, what they see most.

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      2. I agree with you. I think 25 years ago bipolar disorder was being diagnosed a lot. I think anti-depressants effected the diagnosis and my symptoms but the point is I have a few mental illness diagnoses and have survived, overcome a lot and am very blessed to be alive and to be doing as well as I am. I praise God for saving my life. God is good. Thanks for your great feedback I appreciate it and I appreciate you. Also, I’ve nominated you to play “321 Quote Me!”. Here are the details: https://myloudbipolarwhispers.com/2018/07/16/3-2-1-quote-me-greetings/ I hope you will be able to participate. Hugs, Sue

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    1. Thank you very much for your feedback Barb. I appreciate it greatly. I was diagnosed with bipolar 25 years ago and researched it extensively and seemed to have all the symptoms. I am not 100% sure of my new P-docs diagnosis. I feel this is part of our mental illness life. It is hard to diagnose mental illness as there are no blood tests etc. About 25 years ago I was diagnosed with mental illness… multiple diagnoses of initially postpartum depression. Next bipolar 1 disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD and borderline personality disorder. Bipolar was listed as my primary diagnosis and was treated the most as bipolar symptoms appeared the most. However personality disorder also has similar symptoms. Antidepressants cause bipolar symptoms. Who knows. They don’t know and I will never know for sure and it doesn’t really matter because it is in the past. I can’t live back there. I refuse to go there and visit the what ifs. If I do I will surely put myself in a depression and that is the last thing I want of course. No matter what I have a mental illness. I have lived with mental illness for over 25 years and nothing can change it. Bipolar is only a label to help treat a mental illness. Bipolar is not who I am but it is a part of who I am and always will be. I feel relieved and feel a little lighter without that diagnosis if it is true. It lightens my load a little but it is only a word – only a label. It does not change my past or who I am. I am happy with my new p-doc and welcome his positive comments and new school knowledge. I am still psychotropic medication free but am being monitored etc. I will stay med. free as long as I am feeling well. I feel maybe after so many years of taking psychotropic medications and having so many ECTs maybe somehow it has transformed my brain positively. I do not need meds at this time in my life – not right now anyway. I pray this can happen for you and others as well. One day at a time. Thank you for the nomination. I will definitely play and will complete it as soon as I can. Be well, hopeful, inspired and happy. Much love and hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels beyond words amazing and wonderful. Now that I have so much clarity and my brain feels like my own, I can’t believe I survived living in such a foggy haze as long as I did. I just try to live in the now though and am enjoying these moments. I am blessed to have overcome. I pray it will happen for others too. I am happy you are not taking the medications that caused you such negative effects. Keep keeping on and keep fighting. Have a happy, healthy and fabulous day, Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Carol Anne. I am not sure if they found the right diagnosis or not or if things have just changed for the better. I love my new psychiatrist and he is equally pleasantly surprised as me that I am doing as well after so many years of struggling so severely. Whatever the reason, I am going with it and take it day by day. It does not mean I still don’t struggle, it just means I am so much better. My PTSD is what is bothering me the most. I am going to start with a new therapist to tackle that better now. I pray you are doing well. Have a happy and healthy day. Hugs, Sue

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